Workers at Kent’s Shoe Shop
Kent’s account books and the census records shed light on his employees. Kent hired locals as well as young men who boarded with him. Five to six men could work in the shop at a time, and over the years dozens of different men labored there. Kent paid them an average of five dollars a week, deducting board and any expenses they might owe him.
Meet Some of Kent’s EmployeesCurtis Mower was a local farmer who occasionally worked for Kent, with frequently excused absences for haying, planting, militia training, and town meeting.
Roxa Tucker was a sixteen-year-old who lived up the road from Kent on her parents’ farm. She probably didn’t work in the shop, but took home piecework, like several married women in the community.Joel Langdon, a twenty-one-year-old boarder, represented the more typical worker of the era who made shops like Kent’s viable. He wasn’t married, didn’t own property and hadn’t settled on a career, but he needed to earn a living while deciding what to do with his life.
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